Auckland emerges from lockdown after 107 days

Source: 1News

The Covid-19 traffic light has been switched on and Aucklanders have been released into relative freedom.

The Auckland cityscape.

The likes of bars, cafes and gyms can all operate from Friday morning after 107 days under restrictions.

New Zealand was plunged into a hard lockdown in mid-August after the Delta variant of Covid-19 was detected in the community. While restrictions were later eased for much of the country Auckland remained in a Level 3 lockdown until today.

The front of house team at Ahi Restaurant in Auckland prepare for reopening.

Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts have now moved to Red under the traffic light system.

The rest of the North Island and the whole of the South Island has moved to the Orange setting.

As the new system gets underway, around 70,000 Kiwis have been granted temporary vaccine pass exemptions.

Passes are required to get into most venues from Friday, but thousands of New Zealanders are still waiting to receive theirs.

The Ministry of Health says it’s a short-term move as their call centres deal with a wave of callers needing assistance accessing their passes.